It sounds like a slightly weird idea, and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t turn up some weird results.
“Change my name to one of my favorite shapes,” it suggests, or “Every Friday for a year I will wear a different hat.” And, “Every time I hear bells for a month, I will paint a potato.”
“We wanted the AI to come up with the kind of interesting resolutions we’re not thinking of,” Shane said. “We wanted whimsy,” added Rachel Goslins, the director of the Arts and Industries Building, “with a little bit of real.
Plus they have a point. The truth is by accessing the collective corpus of human resolutions, AI might conceive of ideas that our pale human pea brains cannot.
Anyway, it’s not like we’ve been doing such a good job handling the world’s problems as it is. Climate change. Social division. Inflation. Omicron. The continued dominance of Tom Brady. So we won’t decide to marry someone because an AI recommends it. But maybe we’ll let it choose our next trip? Thanks to a host of AI-driven apps, AI has probably already influenced what car we bought for that trip and the route we’d take to get there.
It makes sense why so many of us feel uncomfortable, though. There’s a difference between a tool and a goal. Deciding to visit Grandma in Milwaukee is a substantive choice. Getting there is just a utilitarian need. AI is okay for the how, not so much for the what.
But from an algorithmic standpoint there may be … not such a huge difference? Better results, after all, are better results. And with venues like online dating apps and its algorithms that decide who pops up in them already fueling our marriage choices, substantive life decisions are kind of already shaped by AI.